Very Good News For You

God is all-knowing, all powerful, and loves you a whole bunch.

See! I told you I have good news for you!

Lets review that again:

  1. He’s all-knowing = He knows EVERYTHING.
  2.  He’s all-powerful = He can do ANYTHING.
  3. And He loves you.

The first two are terrifying without the the third one. If you take away the love part, that means He KNOWS WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. Yeah. And He is powerful enough to vaporize you for it.

BACK TO THE GOOD NEWS!

This powerful and perceptive One, LOVES YOU.

And not a limited love as we have. Not a passing feeling, or an affection that doesn’t last. He not only feels love and has deep affection for you… He is the only one who maintain that intensity of love for all eternity. A billions years from now His feelings for you will not have changed! It is impossible for Him to not love you. It’s His very nature.

He loves you so much in fact that He hatched a cosmic rescue plan for you. It was paid for by the unimaginable suffering of His Son Jesus. All so that He could be in relationship with you.

Yeah, He loves you!!!

So remember that today! He’s really smart! Really strong! And He really loves you!

In fact He will continue to use his infinite intellect and power to INVENT ways to prove that love to you.

Trust Him today. Talk to Him. And know that He is on your side!

 

 

 

 

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I Want!

I want this house!

We are good at wanting. Our culture is driven by it. Social media lays them out like a buffet for us. Corporations figured out how to weaponize our wants and make billions.

But is there another life to come? Will all things be made new? Did Jesus go to prepare a place for us? And is He calling us, saying “take up your cross and follow me”? He is.

It’s not bad to have nice things. God doesn’t mind what you own. But He does mind what owns you. He sees our hearts. And I want a heart that’s wholly His!

A heart that doesn’t take pride in how much I have or how little I have. A heart that worships Him.

So is it bad to want things? Of course not. But I think there’s a better question to be asking… Am I worshipping my wants? “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:15

Move

Abraham heard God in Haran. But he SAW God in Canaan.

There’s a progression there that is worth noting.

God asked Him to do something scary….

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country  and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Abraham said yes and began to move.

dusty-sky

“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” Genesis 12:7

God “said” in verse one. And “appeared” in verse seven.
God gave a vague commission in verse one. And gave a specific vision in verse seven.

But what came in the middle of those verses?

Simple obedience.

And because of that obedience, not only did Abraham’s experience with God grow more profound, but the details of God’s plan for his life became more clear.

Often we wonder why we’re not “experiencing” God more. Or we’re confused about our future.

But what if all of that stuff is on the other side of obedience to Him?

What is that thing you KNOW God wants you to do? Do it.

By the grace of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit, DO IT!

After that, you’ll begin to see God more clearly. And you’ll see His plan more clearly.

 

Babylon

In Genesis 11 we see a striking resemblance to our modern culture.

The Babylonians used the technological innovation of their time (brick and mortar) to “build a name for themselves” and to keep them from being “scattered”. Our modern fears are similar…. we don’t want to be nameless and we don’t want to be disconnected.

So we are susceptible to the same temptation of tower building with technology in order to save ourselves.

God mercifully saved them from themselves by foiling their plans!

Thousands of years later, Jesus died on a “tower”. And instead of making a name for himself, He made Himself of “no reputation”. And through his death and resurrection He brought true unity to the nations.

Every tribe and tongue can now experience real significance and connection, not through our own power, but by the blood of Jesus!

How should we use the technological innovations of our time without them “using us”?

The Real You

The real you is in Jesus.

It’s not in a plan.

It’s not in a person.

It’s not in a movement.

It’s not in a job.

It’s not in a body.

It’s not in a brand.

It’s not in a following.

The real you is in Jesus.

It’s not in a feeling.

It’s not in a failure.

It’s not in a future.

It’s not in a past.

The real you is in Jesus.

The real you is love.

The real you is joy.

The real you is peace.

The real you is life.

The real you is in Jesus.

Run to Him He’ll show you.

Talk to Him He’ll tell you.

Rest with Him He’ll heal you.

Walk with Him He’ll lead you.

Lean on Him He’ll hold you.

Follow Him He’ll surprise you.

Dream with Him He’ll amaze you.

Cry out to Him He’ll rescue you.

Believe on Him He’ll save you.

The real you is in Jesus.

“The Holy One Came” – Christmas Blog Series – Pt. 5

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)

Holy.

That word seems as distant and arcane to us as some far off tribe.

Yet when we try to define it we get a few images.

Maybe we think of moral purity?

Not lying?

No cursing?

No sex before marriage?

And those are true. But true in a minuscule kind of way.

Like pouring out a bottle of water when asked to describe a waterfall.

Holiness is something altogether different and higher than mere morality.

And though Holiness is never something LESS than moral standards, it is always something MORE than moral standards.

When we pull back the curtain to see true Holiness we are awestruck by two characterstics… “otherness” and “purity”.

These two words are exclusively true of GOD.

And it is only when we enter into relationship with HIM that it can become true of us.

God is the only one who is completely unique or “other”.

There is no created being that is entirely unique. A Zebra may have a stripe pattern that’s one of a kind, but he’s still a Zebra. The same goes for us. No matter how unique we are, we’re still humans. Still apart of one species.

God has no species. He holds no similarities to anyone or anything. He is utterly singular.

He stands alone.

Above.

Beyond.

Apart… from all of us…. from everything.

Holy.

So Holiness is a word that describes someones nature and position just as much as it describes someones character or purity.

In fact God’s moral purity is a direct result of His “otherness”. There is NO ONE who is morally perfect expect Him.

There is no one as wise or good or loving as Him!

And these moral attributes are not only perfect, but so intense as to be more than we can bear to look upon.

Unimaginable goodness, purity, and love. This is what Holiness is.

Not just purity or goodness… but purity and goodness that is completely singular and unmatched in all the universe.

The amazing thing his that we are called to partake of this holiness. How? How on earth can we be holy?

The Holy One had to come.

Ever other religion tries to open the “bottled water” of morality, while Christ stands amidst a tumult of glory, inviting us in.

Other religions start with a moral ethic that works it’s way to God.

Christianity starts with a moral God who worked Himself to us. A God who surges toward us with terrible power and love.

One of the most profound truths of Christmas is that the God who is completely “other” than us (as God) … became similar to us (as man).

The Holy One came. So that through Him we might become holy.

“Influencers” – Christmas Series – Pt. 4

There could have been more fanfare.

It’s one of things we can’t help but be shocked by when we read the story of Jesus’ birth. It goes against everything we’ve been trained to value in our modern culture.

Here we have GOD being born as a baby to save the WORLD, and there are no power brokers there. Some animals. His parents. So ordinary.

It wasn’t until He was one or two years old that the wise men came with gifts.

And while we live on our digital stages with bulbs flashing and shutters clicking… streaming our lives to the ends of the earth… we look upon this nativity and see God being born in silent obscurity.

There was an announcement though!  A heavenly press release!

To shepherds.

In the back country.

“Peace on earth! Good will to men!”

The most monumental piece of information since the Ten Commandments, entrusted to men who smelled of sheep.

(More ANIMALS heard these words than humans!)

We are so worried that our messages won’t be heard, and our stories won’t be seen…. and God goes to the guys with no “influence”.

“Influencers.” We love influencers. But this story tells us that God doesn’t need them.

He didn’t need the Sanhedrin to hear His announcement.

He didn’t need the Roman power players to know.

He wanted the humble to hear. Because the Humble one was coming to save the humble… and to use the humble.

Jesus, the consummate “insider.” The one who knows EVERYTHING. Privy to all the grand decisions made from the throne, He comes to hang out with the people on the edges of society!

Who IS this God we serve? He is too wonderful for words!

Jesus didn’t need “influencers”, because He WAS the influencer.

He would influence twelve so deeply as to turn their lives inside out.

And these twelve would turn the world upside down.

He didn’t need fanfare because His success never depended on fanfare.

His success depended on humility, which is utter dependance on the Father.

THIS we see in His birth.

Do you feel like you’re on the outside of the important meetings? Not in the “in” crowd? Take heart, because God loves you and values you. He sees you as an integral part of His redemptive plan.

And when Jesus comes in to transform us, we stop seeing the popular and the powerful as people to be envied or hated. They are people to be loved. People Jesus came to save. People he can use!

But he doesn’t need their influence… they need His.

WE need His.

Let him in this Christmas.